The last time Arsenio Hall was seen on his Late Night show was in 94’ and since then a few African Americans tried their hand in the Late Night talk show world with no success, Magic Johnson being the first guy to strike out. Well thanks to a good showing on The Apprentice, I take it take that appearance is what catapulted him back into the world of pop culture, he has been given a second chance. Deadline has reported that Arsenio Hall will be on a syndicated show which will reach 85% of the country next year.
How will this change things in the Late Night Talk Show world? When Arsenio came in the door he was the new blood, the breath of fresh air, he was for that younger audience. He provided a cool look at things with all the hot stars at the time. That lane has been taken and to come in looking to grab that crowd Leno and Letterman occupy makes no sense. Of course those who remember the coolness of The Arsenio Show will tune in to see how he will handle things now, but what are we expecting? The Dog Pound and those John B poems aren’t going to be there I don’t think. There has to be a difference in his approach and I’m sure Arsenio is well aware of that. Has Hall stepped his interview game up? Will his jokes be funnier? Anybody who knows that show knows Arsenio was the worst at interviews and at times his jokes bombed.
Not many people get second chances and to be fair he lost out the first time because of the battle between Leno and Letterman not because he couldn’t keep up with either those shows. He gave The Tonight show some competition back in the days, now there are more shows out there and depending on his time slot he will be in a battle for sure. To me it has been a long time coming. I swear it feels as if television, pop culture and history in general forgot all about The Arsenio Hall show. When you think of all the shows that get remastered and shown on some cable channel you’d think someone would have thrown The Arsenio Hall show in that mix, there are those Soul Train shows so it could have been done. Hell the name doesn’t ring a bell at all with those who were born in the mid to late 90’s. The show rarely gets mentioned as a pop reference in shows, movies or music, the only song that keeps his show alive is “Scenario” and that song is from 1991 and then there is the Dave Chappelle Show episode that shows love to Arsenio where he was eating some good ass cheese. Not even sure for gags or to show love he opened on another talk show of any kind. Glad to see he will return next year and hope he has a good run because if it wasn’t for his show the Late Night Talk Show world might have never gotten around to Hip Hop, Punk, and so many non top 40 acts being able to do their thing on the Late Night circuit.